Drysdale - a Douglas sept

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Index of first names

Thomas, William and James Drysdale

The following is said to tell the story(1) of the creation of the Drysdale family, it was actually part of the Black Douglas clan which remained in Scotland, following their failed attempt against the Scots crown in 1455.

 

"On the Twentieth Day of May, One Thousand Five Hundred and Three Years

We, Thomas, William, and James Douglass, sons of the departed Thomas Douglass, of Brushwood Haugh, in the parish of Drysdale, and Shire of Dumfries, left our native place for the reason here assigned, viz:- Defending our just and lawful rights against our unjust neighbour, Johnston of Greenstonhill, who, being determined to bring water to his mill through our property, and having obtained leave of his friend, the King, began his operations on Monday, the 16th of May, We prevented him by force.


The next day he brought twenty of his vassels to carry on the work. We with two friends and three servants, (eight in all,) attacked Johnston with his twenty, and, in the contest, fourteen of his men were killed, along with their base leader. A report of these proceedings was carried to the King, and we were obliged to fly, (the tocsin being sounded).


We took shelter under the shadow of the Ochil Hills, in a lonely valley on the river Devon. After having lived there a full two years, we returned home in disguise, but found all our property in the possession of Johnston's friends, and a great reward offered for our lives. We, having purchased a small spot, called the Haugh of Dollar, and changed our names to the name of our Parish, are clearly in mind to spend the residue of our days under the ope of the Ochils, and wish the name of Drysdale to flourish in the lonely valley. The King passed through this with his Court on the 12th of June, 1506, going from Stirling to Falkland - dined on Halliday's green. (an eastern neighbour;) but we were not recognised."


The above story has been preserved among the desendants of Thomas, William, and James Douglass, now known by the name of Drysdale, and copied at several times by different individuals - first, by Simon Drysdale of the Haugh of Dollar, in the year 1620; by Robert Drysdale of Tillicoultry, in 1708; by John Drysdale, Dunfermline, in 1835; by James Drysdale, Dumfermline, in 1838; by John Montrose Drysdale, in 1841; by George Drysdale, Aberdeen, in 1845; by David Drysdale, Glasgow, in 1857; by John Harrower Drysdale, Aylmer, Ontario, Canada, in 1920; and now by Nicholas Edwin Kontzie (great-great-grandson of Jane Drysdale), Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 2000.

 

Version one of the original document

Drysdale document 

or you can view a copy which took an alternate path in 1838:

Story of Drysdales And another version...

Drysdale is considered a sept of the Douglas clan, but it is quite likely that this was a separate family which existed previous to when the three Douglas brothers adopted the Drysdale name. A sept is a family that can be related to a clan or larger family for various reasons. Usually this came about either through marriage or by a small family seeking protection from a larger and more powerful neighbour.

 

Notes:

1.  The name Drysdale, or Dryfesdale appears to pre-date the 1503 the creation of the Drysdale family noted above.
In the year 1274 Hugh of Dryfesdale on the quitclaim of land of Todrig , which was witnessed by Heirs of Aymer Maxwell | Nicholas of Synton, master | Aymer Maxwell | Maurice, chaplain (Coldstream) | Alexander, clerk (Coldstream) | Coldstream Priory | Richard, chaplain of Bishop William of Glasgow, vicar of Ashkirk | Robert of Coldstream, clerk | Alexander of Synton (II), sheriff of Fife | John of Lilliesleaf | John of Musselburgh, master, official

 

2.  The surname Drysdale was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dh¨n Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area. Specifically, the family claims descent from Dryfesdale, a civil parish in Annandale.


The "dale" takes its name from the river Dryfe, commonly known as Dryfe Water. Lockerbie falls within the civil parish of Dryfesdale and is generally believed to have been an ancient Viking village c. 900. "There is also a Roman work situated upon an eminence in the centre of the extensive holm of Dryfe and Annan, and which is called Gallaberry, or the station of the Gauls. The most perfect relic of this kind, however, is the British fort at Dryfesdale-gate, occupying two acres of ground, and the counterpart of which is a large Roman work, about half a mile due east, separated only by a moor, on which a bloody battle was fought between the army of Julius Agricola and the forces of Corbredus Galdus, the Scottish king"

The Church of Dryfesdale was dedicated to St Cuthbert in 1116. One of the first records of the name was Gawine Dryfesdale and John Dryesdale in 1499 "for thare being aganis the Kingis hienes in the battell and feyld committit besyde Striuelin one Sanct Barnabeis day."

 

 

I assume that Thomas, William, and James Douglass are just announcing that they have started a new, unconnected line.

 


Source

 

Sources for this article include:
  • House of Names


  • Any contributions will be gratefully accepted





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    Last modified: Sunday, 02 June 2019